I joined the United States Marine Corps when I was 17 years old. More specifically, 5 days after my 17th birthday my mother had to go with me to sign the papers for my enrollment because I wasn’t legally old enough to do it myself (you have to be 18). Believe me, she didn’t want to do it, but I felt it was my duty to defend this country and she respected my decision.
Less than 8 hours after I graduated from high school I was on an airplane to Marine Corp Recruit Depot in San Diego, CA, where I was to spend the next few months of my life. Since that time people have often asked me what USMC Boot Camp was like, often comparing it to the movie Full Metal Jacket. And I tell them in most ways it was actually a lot worse than that movie.
Now there is a documentary called Ears, Open. Eyeballs, Click. which gives you a real view of what it’s like. Watching the clips that follow bring this all back as if it was yesterday – although it was 20 years ago. The thing to keep in mind when you watch these videos is that it’s like this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 13 weeks straight.
Before we get started, here is why you join the USMC:
Mom – the ones that come next will probably make you cry. You might not want to watch them…
From the moment you arrive at MCRD the yelling begins. These guys just arrived in San Diego at the airport and aren’t even on the bus yet:
They torture you as a group, then they torture you individually, and all that is within the first hour!
Later in the training it gets a lot worse. Here is a little three part video giving an overview of the entire process of becoming a US Marine:
- Week 01 – Receiving: 2 a.m. new recruits arrive at Parris Island, SC.
- Week 02 – In the Barracks: Bringing discipline into the recruits routine.
- Week 03 – Bayonet Assault Course: Turning instruction into intensity.
- Week 04 – Pugil Sticks: Facing opponents for the first time.
- Week 05 – MCMAP: Learning Marine Corps Martial Arts.
- Week 06 – Rappelling: Overcoming fear.
- Week 07 – Grass Week: Learning weapon safety and technique.
- Week 08 – Firing Week: Firing live rounds.
- Week 09 – The Confidence Course: Overcoming obstacles as a team.
- Week 10 – Day Movement: Simulating tactical scenarios.
- Week 11 – The Crucible: 54 continuous hours of physical and mental challenges. It all comes together here. Teamwork , leadership, discipline and all of skills they have learned.
- Week 12 – Emblem Ceremony: Receiving the Eagle, Globe and Anchor and the title “Marine”.